Power_electronics Features

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Power Electronics Europe News
String inverters are increasingly used in MW PV Projects
Over 300 solar installers, distributors and engineering, procurement and construction companies were asked about their preferences and opinions on PV inverters in a recent survey by analyst IHS. Over 200 purchasers of PV string inverters responded of which 80% indicated they might use string inverters in systems larger than 100kW. Nearly half reported they would consider using the inverters in systems larger than 1MW. In last year’s survey, this figure was only 17%. Cormac Gilligan, PV market analyst commented: “The most common reasons given for solar purchasers preferring string inverters over central inverters in large systems were better system design flexibility, minimising losses in the case of failure and lower lifetime system costs”. IHS predicts that low power three-phase inverter shipments will increase by 14% a year on average for the next four years, with annual shipments of nearly 20GW in 2017. More entities are also using or buying microinverters in 2013, according to the survey, with 42% now using such products. Microinverters perform the same general functions as traditional string inverters, except that they work on a per module basis rather than for a string of modules. “Following several years of intense marketing and training for installers, microinverters have now progressed from being a ‘niche’ product, to gaining wide acceptance in the PV market”, said Gilligan. “Major suppliers, such as SMA and Power-One, have also released microinverters, helping them to gain acceptance and traction in key markets”.

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